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sushi plates

updated fri 25 jan 02


karen terpstra on thu 24 jan 02

Hi Joyce,
Sushi plates vary in different regions in Japan the same way Sake varies
in Japan because of the different types of rice that are grown in each
area. I do not know the exact origins of the plates. Traditional table
settings in Japan are not matched sets like here or in Europe. They mix
stoneware, porcelain, enamel, and even cast iron, etc. on the table.
Each piece is chosen for the particular food that is to be served on
it. You might see a simple enamel black bowl filled with soup and a
beautiful pink flower as a garnish next to a colorful and decoratively
glazed plate with vegatable greens...

Making sushi is a highly stylized art, therefore the subtleties of the
shape. The basic shapes are primarily flat and slightly elevated on a
foot. The size depends on how many people are served or the way in
which it is served. They are usually square or rectangle. You can make
them with slabs or use a hump mold. Koie Ryoji made a few when he was
here and he threw various sizes of cylinders. Then he cut them down one
side. He let them set up slightly, then took one end, his apprentice
took the other end and they gave it a gentle "stretch", then set it
down. no feet, and finger prints were left on the ends. Maybe a
contemporary version...

The color of the plates are usually simple because the sushi can be so
colorful and artistic in itself. I have seen the plates in shinos,
celedons, and temokus. The wood fire people let the flashing do the
work. The point is to coordinate the color and form of the plate with
the sushi. It's usually not overdone.

If you're going to make sushi plates Joyce, buy some chop sticks and
learn how to eat it correctly. Don't eat it with a fork like my husband
does. It ruins the ambiance. :) That's another post...

hope this helps.

Karen Terpstra
La Crosse
ps. I've enjoyed reading about your puppy. We have a puppy too. Buck,
an English Setter is 6 months old now. He's the hubby's hunting dog and
my studio companion. He tries every once in awhile to sneak off with an
elephant ear sponge.